Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jesus Is Everything - Guaranteed

I love the man who wrote this (Murray Scott), and I think you'll like this. I sure do.

We have a wonderful Savior and He calls us into fellowship with Him. I cannot speak for anyone else, but there have been many times for me when He seemed particularly close and the intimacy level between us was more apparent than usual. I have never been left unchanged after times like that. Most times, it was a change in my thinking for the better, but I have often found a change in my body after having fellowship time with Him.

There are two types of teaching I find abhorrent. One is that healing is guaranteed and the other is that it's not. Both put the focus in the wrong place. Our focus is to be on Christ always and He is a healer, He is our healer. Whatever arises from our fellowship with Him is perfect and more than enough to meet our needs and brings some sort of healing into our experience. I cannot tell you exactly what that looks like in every case, but I can tell you that He makes things better simply by his presence. I don't think He has any problem at all healing our bodies, but again, it's probably not wise to make that a focus. He is our focus. He is our everything.

Those who say healing isn't guaranteed have Scripture to cite on their side and those who say it is do also. I think I've retired from playing 'dueling Scriptures' with people. It seems a fools errand to me.

Jesus said, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. (John 5:39-40)

We will not receive a satisfactory and conclusive answer from the Scriptures about healing and I think this is on purpose, but we will be satisfied when we come to Him to have life. I do not believe that this is to be a one time thing, but something we do again and again and again.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Little 'Out There'

Standing in line at the post office in order to fulfill a book order, a woman asked, "What's your book about?" "It's called, 'God's Astounding Opinion of You" I said. She replied, "Well, that sounds very positive and uplifting." I replied, "And shouldn't it be? God thinks He put us in pretty good shape when He took all of our sins and gave us a great record with Himself in place of that. We're good with God because of Jesus," I said, "and He wants everyone to know. That's what my book is about." She looked away, smiled and said, "Well, that sounds good, and, um, a little 'out there.'" She gave in to a distraction, and that was the end of our conversation.

I never know how people will respond to the good news in light of where they've been with the gospel before. Do they really know how good it is? And, frankly, she was right--it truly is a little "out there."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Look That Works

There are many common ways by which we are measured and by which to measure ourselves, right? What pressure! What a lot of work it all is. Have you noticed? If we attempt to manage ourselves by those measurements and we interpret our success in that light, we darken and do not receive grace.

If, however, our “measurement” is God’s gift of never-ending righteousness in Christ, His gift of “It is well, and you are too,” then we will enjoy the fact that we have been taken from the kingdom of darkness and put into the kingdom of the Son. That’s where we are. Only by believing (and sometimes newly believing again and again!) that we are where God says we are, and that we are how God says we are can we accurately measure ourselves. In other words, live with the person we think we are! It’s the only way—the only true way. And that’s when the pressure eases, because we’re enjoying the riches of our inheritance—the gift—given to us in Christ.

The GOOD NEWS, the big deal, is that we had nothing to do with achieving or earning the gift; we are happy receivers only and always! And by looking at it, by enjoying the gift, we are built up and encouraged in Him. That’s how this all works—that’s how WE work—by looking at the gift! God set it up for us.

I know it doesn’t fit with the pressures and measurements of this world, and, really, you can keep immersing yourself and swimming in the crazy currents of this world’s identity measurements if you like. But the truth is, they don’t work! And you don’t fit. Jesus took care of all that by taking care of you.

Now watch this—pay attention to how you feel as you read the following, which was written for you:

“. . .joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you (in other words, He has made you right! It is well, and you are too.) to share in the inheritance (the gifted inheritance) of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:12-14, italics mine.)

Already and all done! You’re in and you’ve got it all. No worries. Remember?

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “The Look That Works,” and is intended for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video and/or to subscribe, click, or simply scroll down this page.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Look That Works

Do you ever discover that your thinking has been generally dark?  Subtly sad?  “How did that happen?!” you might have said.  It’s often because of what you’ve been believing and how it affects you.  Take 3.5 minutes and see if this doesn’t help cheer you up—deeply. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Around The Corner

Today I help my eldest daughter, Ellen, move to college. I’m not sure what kind of madness this is, that I am actually helping her to leave me. Oh, I know that some of you will tell me what a good thing it is that I’m doing, that I should be proud, that I should be happy that she goes so well-prepared and loved, and blah, blah, blah. But frankly? It’s one of the stupidest, least self-beneficial things I have ever done, and it’s killing me. I’ve lived on the edge of tears for months now, sometimes over, sometimes just short, navigating my days knowing that painful lunacy draws near. Today is that day. Happy? Hell, no.

Am I selfish? Am I self-centered? Well, yeah! Why shouldn’t I be, when love—the giving and receiving of it—has been the center of our relationship, and when my girl, who has lived at the virtual ends of my finger tips for all of her life and much of mine, just down the hall, will no longer be there. Someone earlier this week tried to tell me how I should properly look at this “coming of age,” this “natural progression,” this “opportunity for growth and faith in Jesus,” and I about tore his throat out. . .in Jesus’ name.

Yes, I’m grieving. Is that okay?

The only thing I’ve thought of that might help is a new slant on ministry. I’m thinking of laying aside the book I’ve been working on for kids and their parents for the last three years, in favor of the new title, “Children Who Leave You” (subtitle, “And The Parents Who Love Them”). What do you think? I’ll add a new page at entitled, “Parental Abuse,” and it will serve as an educational warning to parents (or to those even thinking of becoming parents) about the evils of feeding and clothing and caring for children (who have come from your very bodies, for God’s sake!), who then up and leave you!

Am I over-doing it? No! There have been other times when I felt this “love hurts” thing, like when I speak at a multi-day conference, fall in love with you people, and then either you or I leave and we never see each other again. That’s not supposed to hurt? It does! Every time. Well, this is 1000 times that. And, somehow, I’m to blame; I’m complicit in what should be illegal. I should go to prison for this! Somebody stop me! And, please, don’t tell me that this is normal, as if that will make the heavens part, and the wisdom of God pour out upon me. Normal for who?!

I’m assailed by thoughts of, “Have I prepared her enough?” and “have I paid attention to her enough?” and “have I loved her enough?” Frankly, the answer is “No.” And that’s because ONLY Jesus is enough for her, and she is set up by Him to find Him perfectly ENOUGH, as in perfectly loving, perfectly caring, perfectly involved, and perfectly capable in and through all of her days. He will see to that, and she knows it. Maybe He will do the same with me. Actually, He is.

Look, I know that I should be happily ushering my daughter into the next part of her life, into the days in which God goes before her, into the life for which He has made her and in which she will know Him like never before. And she will be great! I know. I AM PLEASED, and I’m fantastically confident in who she is. No kidding. But I am torn. And for me, that’s normal today. If I were to “suck it up” and power my way through all of this—you know, “Just have a good attitude,”—then what would happen to my natural need for Jesus? What would the two of us, Jesus and me, do together if I were busying myself with postured strength? That’s not the way for me. That’s not how I do life. That’s not how I receive Life.

While Ellen goes off to college with Jesus and around a true corner in the course of her days, I’m going around the corner with Him too.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Perhaps the greatest change that God is bringing about is for you to identify yourself more as He does—as a true son, perfectly compatible with Him, a noble foreigner in this world, with God Himself happily living within—than you otherwise might by looking only at your reflection in the mirrors of this world. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Hurt & The Healer

Here's a book I can hardly wait to get!  It's from my friend, Andrew Farley and Bart Millard, and it has just been published.  Here's the song and lyrics that inspired the book.  

To go see about the book, click

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Just One Passage

If I had just one small passage to hang my heart and mind upon today, this would be it: "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:6-7)

For those of us who wonder where we are in life and what to do, this is it. We're in Christ. Keep remembering and reminding that.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I will be speaking tomorrow morning at the Briggsdale Baptist church, here in Colorado.  The congregation is a beautiful bunch of people who have just found out that their pastor's wife has cancer.  Would you pray?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

How You Is Taken Captive

Chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Colossians strongly warns against being made captives. How does that happen?

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

The way by which many of us are imprisoned today is by an accusation that suggests a false “you,” a fake “you,” and which then prosecutes it. For example: “You are fat.” “You are stupid.” “You are ugly.” “You are lazy.” “You are dirty.” “You are sinful.” “You are far from God.” If we are induced to believe the accusation that the “you” we most truly are is any of those things, then, thinking it’s the truth, we will be deceived. And then we’ll be deceived into behaviors in keeping with lies. No one lives well from there.

The verses surrounding Colossians 2:8 read this way:

6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

So if there is any excess weight on the frame that you’re in, if you could benefit by taking a class or two, or if you would be rewarded by exercising a bit, that’s fine. But the real you, the one made by God Himself through faith in Christ, is forever beyond prosecution. The “you” that God made is perfectly well-off with Him, has no fat(!), is entirely brilliant and beautiful, and lives in the power and authority of God. That “you,” the real “you,” is pure, forever forgiven, and united with God Himself.

That’s how you are, and that’s where you are. And that’s why you look at Jesus to find yourself. He’ll show you you. And that’s really good.

(This is a transcript of an earlier video, “How You Is Taken Captive,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, click

How You Is Taken Captive

Have you got 3 minutes to find out why you feel like you’re the constant target of accusation (“You’re fat!”), or like there’s an invisible idiot somewhere who thinks your mind is the perfect place to dump trash?  Have a look at this video and find out what that’s about, as well as how to take advantage of the accusing idiot.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

An Original Production

Got 2 minutes?  If you’ve ever become entranced by the suggestion that Christianity is about copying Jesus, take a look at this video. 

An Original Production

Teaching that persuades us to become preoccupied with the fruit, benefit and look of knowing God—“Here’s how to be nicer, feel better, and look like Jesus”—but not with the reality must be avoided.  There are those who will demand exceptions for “holding people accountable,” and for prescribing avenues for better behavior, better marriages and better results, but transformed lives come by looking at the cross, resurrection and person of Christ, not from the attempt to emulate Him. 

The Christian life cannot be summed as the attempt to “be like Jesus.”  Not only is that the same lie with which Satan lured and stole from Adam and Eve in the Garden, but it has the same effect today.  The life of “Christ in you” is produced by Him—that’s the thrill—as He deepens your knowledge of His grace and love for you.  You and I are His workmanship—and that’s the life.